Johnny Depp appeals against Amber Heard's $2 million defamation trial payout, says few rulings of court 'were erroneous'

Published on Nov 05, 2022 11:53 AM IST

The Virginia jury had agreed with Amber Heard's claim that Johnny Depp was "vicariously liable" for comments made by his attorney to a tabloid in 2020. This had led to her being awarded the $2 million countersuit claim.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got married in 2015.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard got married in 2015.

Months after winning the defamation trial, actor Johnny Depp has now filed documents to appeal a Virginia court's ruling that one of his lawyers defamed his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard. In the defamation case, Johnny was awarded $10.35 million in damages against Amber Heard. She was awarded $2 million by the Virginia jury in a countersuit claim, during the same trial. (Also Read | Johnny Depp looks unrecognisable as he shaves beard and moustache, fans ask if it's for a new role)

The US lawsuit took place in a courtroom in Virginia, during the course of April and May this year. It was based on the allegation that Amber had defamed Johnny by referring to herself as a "public figure representing domestic abuse" in a 2018 op-ed for the Washington Post. Although the op-ed did not specifically refer to Johnny, he claimed it harmed his reputation and wrecked his career.

As per Fox News, it reviewed Johnny's documents which read that the court "should reverse the judgment on Ms Heard's counterclaim". He added that otherwise, he was in favour of the jury's decision. "The jury’s emphatic favorable verdict on all three defamatory statements alleged in his complaint fully vindicated Mr Depp and restored his reputation. However, the trial court was confronted with a number of novel and complex legal and factual issues, and although the trial court decided the vast majority of those issues sensibly and correctly, a few rulings were erroneous," it read.

The jury had agreed with Amber that Johnny was "vicariously liable" for comments made by his attorney to a tabloid in 2020. His lawyers, in his appeal, have argued that since Adam Waldman was hired as an independent contractor, Johnny wasn't responsible for his remarks. The latest document read, "No evidence of Mr Waldman's actual malice was presented at trial, so the judgment against Mr Depp cannot be sustained." As per the report, Johnny's team also argued Adam's words were a "non-actionable statement of opinion insufficient to support a claim of defamation".

Johnny and Amber separated a year before the op-ed was published, following two years of marriage. She said that Johnny had subjected her to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse during their relationship.

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